It all started with pot roast. But Aaron Brooks’ mom probably had no idea her son’s love of the dish would lead him from Australia to Miami. Brooks, executive chef at the terrific Edge Steak & Bar at The Four Seasons Miami, tonight is hosting an all-star event called “Lamb Down Under.’’ at the Edge rooftop lounge.
Brooks and other well-known Miami area chefs are displaying their talents for cooking lamb, which has become a popular dish on the eclectic South Florida culinary scene.
“Growing up in Australia it's a given you better know how to cook lamb,’’ Brooks told me. “I first learned from my Mum and Dad. Mum made a mean roast every Sunday with all the trimmings. Dad’s specialty on the other hand was 'Lambs Fry', a dish with British Heritage, Lambs liver sauteed with onion and bacon, finished in gravy. We used to eat it weekly for breakfast. Believe it or not, it's absolutely delicious.’’
If you’ve ever eaten any of Brooks’ dishes at Edge, you absolutely believe it. Australian lamb is a staple of Edge Steak & Bar’s menu.
“First we started with chops, simply grilled,’’ Brooks said. “When we saw the popularity in the meat we upped the ante and did a dual preparation. We always showcase the chops but we have also included other cuts like slow braised shank, crispy belly and house made sausage. We have also started to get more creative with our lunch specials. Meatballs, burgers, pastas, tacos.... it's about getting creative and trying new things.
“People in Miami are pretty open to trying new things, so exposing them to lamb has been easy. It has been great for me to add flavors and preparations to our dishes based on the cultural influence here in Miami. We use spices, chilies sauces and cooking techniques with throwbacks to the community. I found it creates a dish somewhat familiar and identifiable in ways, making trying some new not so daunting.’’
Not daunting at all. Just delicious.